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Prison board approves hiring of a lieutenant

Published January 31. 2013 05:02PM

Creating another position of lieutenant on the correctional officers staff was approved by the Schuylkill County Prison Board, which held a special meeting Wednesday at the courthouse in Pottsville. The position will be filed by the county commissioners.

Warden Eugene Berdanier commented this will increase the number of lieutenants on the staff to six and will bring the staff up to standard.

Commissioner Gary Hess, a member of the board, said the position will also serve to replace an officer on medical leave which will save the cost of overtime pay.

Berdanier also informed the commissioners he received the report from the Department of Corrections annual inspection of the county prison and they had listed a number of improvements to be made with the main concern being about the overcrowding of the prison. Berdanier said he plans to respond.

The warden reported the prison is overcrowded with the inmate population as of Wednesday numbering 316 but this is not a record because about five years ago the prison housed 360 inmates. The prison was build shortly before the Civil War to house 200.

The board has submitted to the state a plan for putting up an additional section in the prison yard which could house about 50 inmates. It also tries to transfer prisoners as soon as possible who have been sentenced to a state correctional institution and state prisoners brought to be tried in the county courts are housed in the two state prisons in the county.

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